Take Time To Be Holy
Samuel Logan Brengle
Take Time to Be Holy contains classic selections from Samuel Logan Brengle—a man whose writings on personal holiness have been touching hearts and inspiring believers for over a century. This daily devotional will inspire you to take time each day to deepen and enrich your understanding of holiness and how it is available to each of us. Not because we are perfect . . . but because God welcomes our obedient hearts and infuses them with His almighty power and boundless grace. Then we can consistently be and do just what God wants us to be and do. That’s holiness. 30% off this month!
THE STORY OF "US"
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, …” Keep in mind God did not have to Create anything or anybody. The Trinity is in perfect relationship for all eternity. Self-sustaining. Self-fulfilled in perfection. God didn’t need us. But God did create us and loves us.
Why did God create mankind? You might have heard this question before. One answer is found in Genesis 1:26 when God says- "Let Us make man in Our image ..." This is relational language. The One who is Triune is always in perfect relationship with one another - Father with the Son with the Holy Spirit. God has a relational character. Why did God create mankind? Well it wasn't because He had to, it was because He wanted to, it is who He is. Just as God is love, He is also relational. Furthermore, if we are created in the image of God, we too are relational by nature. The whole Bible story is really a story of "us". Human beings were not to go it alone (Gen. 2:18). If you’re not already, get into a group of likeminded men or women who are in relationship with the Triune God. You were created for this! Christianity is the story of Us in relationship with us.
DON’T PROFANE THE NAME
Ever had someone represent you, or your family or your business or your ministry in a way that brought shame to your name? They didn’t give it their best and made you look weak, incompetent or even flawed in character? Maybe it was perceived falsely? Maybe it was brought through misunderstanding? Maybe it was your own sinful actions which brought disgust in the eyes of others. That’s reality. That’s real life, pre-Christ and even post-Christ.
In Ezekiel, God is making known in no uncertain terms that the Israelites idolatry and exile has given the world a false view of who He is. They have profaned His name among the nations. (see Ezekiel 20:9,14,22,39,44; 36:20,21,22,23; 39:7,25; 43:7-8) it makes Him seem like a weak God who couldn’t deliver His people in their time of trouble.
One’s name in the Bible was more than a label to distinguish them from their brothers or sisters. Your name was your character and it carried with it a reputation. God’s name is to be exalted among the nations. Held Holy. He is Holy. He is Almighty! He is not helpless against Babylonians, your sin nature, nor in dealing with that one person who is a thorn in your side at work.
The Israelites (like us) were profaning God’s name. They were causing the watching world to think wrongly about Him and His capabilities. Walking in obedience and faith hallows God’s name. It shows a watching world He is LORD. Walking your talk makes holy God’s name among your neighbors and the nations. Singularity of life lived by His word, promises, purposes and design hold up His Name for all to see. Witnessing to God’s true character. Giving your all, giving your best, brings honor to the Name. It hallows His Name. Don’t profane His name by living outside the will of God.
When you study the lives of key biblical characters like Isaiah, Moses, the disciples and others you will find that all of them had to make major adjustments in their lives in order to obey and follow what God was asking them to do. Yet, when they made the required adjustments in order to obey God, then God began to move in miraculous ways and began to accomplish His will through them. Had they chosen not to make those adjustments, most likely, you would have never heard of them.
When we study the word of God we open ourselves up to being called to make major adjustments in our lives. This makes us uncomfortable. When we obey we leave comfortable Christianity behind and soon find out that God's way is well worth the adjustment we had to make.
God makes a paramount statement at Jesus’ baptism. It indicates a universal goal, a paramount goal for everyone, especially followers of Christ. God (The Father) says to Jesus, and those witnessing His baptism, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Wow! Notice God makes a direct statement about Jesus’ life before Jesus has done any ministry. This statement is made pre-ministry. This is an amazing relational statement. Jesus, you are my Son. You are my family. Jesus, I love you even though you have not performed any anointed ministry. Lastly, Jesus, I am really really-pleased with you. Again, Jesus has not done anything up to this point for the reader to see why the Father would be pleased with His Son (from a human vantage).
Pleasing God is NOT performance based it is relationship based! But how? Before doing ministry, Jesus’ relationship with the Father pleases the Father. The way Jesus has lived His life pleased the Father. Jesus’ thinking pleased the father. Jesus has been walking in relationship with the Father and pleasing Him each day for about thirty years! What a goal, this pleasing of God! What an example, this life of Jesus! What a wonderful way to live.
Jesus' paramount goal for His disciples is that their lives will please the Father just like His. We might tremble a little if we were to ask the Father, "Does my life please you?" Yet, keep in mind the answer is relationship based and not performance based. Are you in His Word? Do you meet Him in prayer? Do you follow His lead? These help build, strengthen and maintain our relationship with God. Grow your relationship with the Father and please Him. Teach your disciples to do likewise. This is one side of the coin of the paramount goal of biblical discipleship … side one - pleasing God.
(see – Matthew 3:16-17, 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; 2Peter 1:17; John 8:29)
Paramount Goal #1 for your disciple – PLEASING GOD
For more on this read God’s Purposes for You! by Allan Coppedge and In His Image by Allan Coppedge and Bill Ury.
WHO CONTROLS THE STORY?
There are a number of key stories being told in our culture. There is a story of humanity evolving from the simplest organism to the top of the animal kingdom. Yet alas! We are just an animal with no real purpose or meaning in this world. Another story being told is we, as a nation, were founded upon privileged white men’s greed, racism, imperialism, and down right evil intentions. These types of stories seem to multiply each day.
Nancy Pearcey, in her book Total Truth, gives us an important truth we need to instill in followers of Christ. She says, “Whoever has the authority to shape a culture’s Creation myth is its de facto “priesthood,” with the power to determine what the dominant worldview will be.” The world and the enemy are bent on re-writing history in every area possible in order to determine an outcome. The outcome they seek is a history that erases God and runs contrary to Scripture. Be on your toes!
Are we really here by random chance or does the Bible clearly tells us why we are here? Remove God and our connection with Him as our Creator and you determine your future. That future can involve hopelessness and a rising rate of suicide. That future can exponentially multiply self-centered people who seek to get all they can now because there is no eternity. That future can lack any semblance of Christlike love.
On the other hand, if I tell you our country was founded on Biblical principles and we have the documents to prove it. That by those principles you can expect our nation to flourish, give to others, prosper and have a strong foundation to move forward. In addition, you could expect strong ethics based upon the commands and character of God and the teaching of Jesus Christ. You would grow up thinking our nation has a hope and a future!
Help your disciple, as they leave the world behind and have their minds renewed in Christ, to grasp truth. If I control your Creation story, I determine your future and your worldview. This is no surprise to God and that is why Gen. 1&2 are critical for your disciple to understand.
Take time to reorient your disciple to a Biblical worldview. Invest time in the Creation story. It is there for a reason and if you start off wrong you will likely end wrong. God is helping everyone to start off right. The right worldview. The right foundation for life.
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all; we acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time most grievously have committed by thought, word, and deed against Thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous upon us; the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us most merciful Father; for Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake. Forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever serve and please Thee in newness of life, to the honour and glory of Thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
Gracious Holy Spirit, so much of my life seems to revolve around my interests and my welfare. I would like to live just one day in which everything I did benefited someone besides myself. Perhaps prayer for others is a starting point. Help me to do so without any need for praise or reward. In Jesus name. - Amen.
Open unto me - light for my darkness.
Open unto me - courage for my fear.
Open unto me - hope for my despair.
Open unto me - peace for my turmoil.
Open unto me - joy for my sorrow.
Open unto me - strength for my weakness.
Open unto me - wisdom for my confusion.
Open unto me - forgiveness for my sins.
Open unto me - tenderness for my toughness.
Open unto me - love for my hates.
Open unto me - Thy Self for my self.
Lord, Lord, open unto me!
Keep me, O Lord, from waxing mentally and spiritually dull and stupid. Help me to keep the physical, mental and spiritual fibre of the athlete, of the man who denies himself daily and takes up his cross and follows Thee. Give me good success in my work, but hide pride from me. Save me from the complacency that so frequently accompanies success and prosperity. Save me from the spirit of sloth, of self-indulgence, as physical infirmities and decay creep upon me.
" Have you ever said, 'Well, all we can do now is pray?' ... When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God."
"Let no one profess to trust in God, and yet lay up for future wants, otherwise the Lord will first send him to the hoard he has amassed, before He can answer the prayer for more."
To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.
O merciful God,
whatever You may deny me,
do not deny me this love.
Save me from the idolatry of loving the world,
or any of the things of the world.
Let me never love any creature
but for Your sake and in subordination to Your love.
Take full possession of my heart;
raise there Your throne
and command there as You do in heaven.
Being created by You, let me live to You;
being created for You,
let me ever act for Your glory;
being redeemed by You,
let me render to You what is Yours
and let my spirit ever cleave to You alone.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that
I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Take, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.
You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to Your Divine will.
You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to Your Divine will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.
Articles / Prayers / Devotion
Dear heavenly Father, You are a holy God and I desire to be holy too.. set apart unto You, and living my life in a manner that is worthy of You and pleasing to You.
Search my heart I pray, and if there is any cherished sin lurking within, I ask that You would root it out, for I know that only the one that has clean hand and a pure heart may stand in Your presence.
Purify my heart, cleanse my inner thoughts and examine the very motives behind my acts and attitude, for I desire to live in holiness of heart - and if there is anything that is displeasing to You in my life.. I ask that in Your grace You would root it out, so that I may live in godly holiness all the days of my life, clothed in Christ’s righteousness.. separated unto You and walking in godly love – this I ask in Jesus name, Amen.
"Blessed Savior, I am not good at resting in the hollow of your hand. Nothing in my experience has taught me this resting. I have been taught how to take charge. I have been taught how to be in control. But how to rest? No, I have no models, no paradigms for resting.
That is not exactly right. Jesus, when you walked among the Jerusalem crowds and in the Judean hills, you pioneered this way of living. You were always alert and alive. You lived utterly responsive to the will of the Father. Manifold demands were placed upon you, and still you worked in unhurried peace and power.
Help me to walk in your steps. Teach me to see only what you see, to say only what you say, to do only what you do. Help me, Lord, to work resting and to pray resting.
I ask this in your good and strong name.
Amen." Jean Vanier